Saturday, March 16, 2013


Psalm 19:8 “The commandments of the LORD are right, bringing joy to the heart; the commandments of the LORD are clear, giving insight to life.”

Commandments. Who likes to be commanded of anything? Even toddlers hate to be commanded. Definitely teenagers hate to be commanded. And, frankly, I at 36 certainly do not tolerate well the idea of a command. And yet, that’s exactly what God calls his instruction for us….commandments.

We are all familiar with the “Ten Commandments” but for many it stops there and with good reason. To many, to myself admittedly at times, being a Christian seems like a bunch of rules and “thou shalt not’s” but when you read Psalm 19:8 commandments are linked to joy and insight—two things I really want and two things we all really need.

Joy is defined (by me) as the peace you feel deep inside regardless of the circumstance. When all seems to pointing in one direction but something deep within you says do something else and you feel an odd sense of peace about that—that is joy; that is God. Joy is not dependent upon how you feel (it’s not about being happy), what you want or even what you’re getting; no, joy is a state of being and according to this Psalm joy comes in the form of commandments.

When I was a kid my mom would often tell me “you didn’t come with an instruction manual” and now that I’m a mother myself I totally get what she was saying! But, this Psalm says otherwise. According to this psalm, we can get insight to life through the commandments of God. True, the bible does not say “When your kid does X, then you do X” I know, because I’ve looked. However, the bible is filled with insight including how to be a good parent. I know. I’ve looked.

Here’s my point, being a Christian is far more than just saying a one-time “I totally suck please forgive me” prayer and then exhaling because at least you’re not going to hell. Being a Christian is a daily process of becoming a better person than you were, a daily reminder of what you are capable of doing (remember, not always linked to what you feel like doing), being a Christian is about understanding that yes there are commandments, but they exist to bring joy and insight! After all, when we tell our toddler don’t touch the stove we have good reason, when we tell our teen you’re not going to that party we have good reason, and when God tells us as adults have no other god but Me, He has good reason.

So, the next time you’re quick to say “Yes I know I’m not supposed to do that, but...” pause and ask yourself why exactly is that particular commandment coming from God and then ask yourself which decision will bring joy and insight, yours or His.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Who are you impressing?

Notice me. That's at the heart of every human being. Yes, even you--the person who likes to say they could care less if anyone pays attention to them--you want to be noticed too. We wear our hair a certain way, we buy certain clothes, we post certain things on Facebook, we talk louder, we stay quieter, all in the hopes to be noticed. Ok, maybe we don't want the whole world to notice us, maybe just one person but have we ever stopped to think about WHY?

Love. That's why. It all comes down to love. Even for the man that says he needs no love. Even for the woman who says she'll never love again. Love. We want to be noticed because we want to be loved. And at the core of that hunger for love, for being noticed, is a deeper cry from God himself saying back to us "notice Me." And yet, we turn to others, ignoring His voice, in the hopes that some person, the right person, will come along and we will finally be whole inside.

It will never leave us, that desire to be noticed by others, but it can be tamed in us when we want more desperately for God to notice us than for another person too. We must stay aware of our desire, aware of why we are doing/saying/acting the way we are and then we must make the necessary adjustments to "keep our eyes turned towards the heavens."